Southern Cypress Pine
|Class:||Plants (Plantae) - Land Plants (Charophyta) - Land Plants (Equisetopsida) - Trees|
|Family:||Cypress (Cupressaceae) iNaturalist Observation|
|Species:||Southern Cypress Pine (Callitris gracilis)|
|This Photo:||Mass of Old Dispersed Cones|
|Other names:||Common Cypress Pine, Lachlan Pine, Light Pine, Mallee Pine, Mountain Pine, Murray Pine, Rottnest Island Pine, Scrub Cypress Pine, Slender Pine or White Pine|
Thank you Tony and Jenny Dominelli for confirming and Andrew Thornhill & Prof Mike Crisp for helping with the id of this species for us
General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA), the Adelaide Hills and elsewhere
These tall trees can be 250 years old.
We feel blessed to have a small forest of them on Ellura.
Their habit varies greatly (we suspect some of this is age) from the typical cone (pyramid) shape of a conifer tree to a broader flat top affair.
Unlike pine trees, their (female) cones are individual nuts. They can get some lumps/bumps/warts on their surface, similar to Callitris verrucosa, but no where near the same extent/quantity.
They don't have typical flowers. They have strobili which are modified leaves that contain the reproductive organs. You would not feel foolish to think the leaves where dying as they go orange/brown in spring.
We got confirmation of this when a Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater flew into a Callitris tree near us and a cloud of white dust was created as it clipped the branch. The white dust was pollen!
We then took a video, tapping a "buch of flowers" showing all the pollen being released.
Mike Crisp let us know, through Andrew, that "Warts are not diagnostic for the species. Size of the cone and the growth habit are the main diagnostic. " Through DNA testing Mike has also discovered that C. preissii is not a synonym of C. gracilis; as previously though. They are in fact quite different.